One can only wonder what Tony Campolo means by some of his radical statements he has made and the positions he takes. Some call him a prophet, others call him a heretic. Campolo is no stranger to this controversy, yet he continues to expand it, not reduce it. He has made a career of tackling Americas problems and solving them with his own opinions.
Campolo is a graduate of Eastern University and earned a Ph.D. from Temple University. He previously served for ten years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Campolo is now professor emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.
Tony Campolo has authored 28 books, his most recent is Revolution and Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities. He has been a guest on various TV programs Politically Incorrect, Nightline, Crossfire, The Charlie Rose Show and CNN News.
He speaks Hundreds of times a year to crowds of high school and universities, conferences and retreats all over the country. Campolo speaks at well more than 100 events a year, and is a favorite at Hawaii's Island ministries (HIM) conference. He is known for a blunt “tell-it-like it-is” style on the controversial subjects he often speaks on, yet few seem to notice what Campolo is REALLY about.
He is the Founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE). He is educated man yet most see Campolo as a theological liberal and a radical political socialist whose teachings are far from a Christian distinctive, he can certainly be categorized by true evangelicals as aberrant.
After September 11, in a Wheaton College debate Campolo engaged with conservative activist Gary Bauer. Bauer responded, “I know this is hard for you to believe, but the enemy is not John Ashcroft, the enemy is Osama bin Laden.” “I’m not sure about that,” said Campolo, drawing gasps and not a few boos from the audience. “When you start taking away the rights of the American citizens, when you undercut the Bill of Rights in order to pursue security, I think you become more dangerous than bin Laden. I think that if this country goes down, it will not be because of the enemies that are outside this country. I think that if this country goes down, it’s because those within the country undercut our basic rights, undercut the principles that gave birth to this institution” (article-Ted Olsen Christianity Today January 21, 2003, Vol. 47, No. 1, p. 32, The Positive Prophet posted 12/27/2002).
This is a good observation and advice on Campolo’s part. We should equally watch those within the church that want to change our purpose to something other than what the Scripture commands us to do. In this respect we should pay attention to Campolo who works within the church, for not all he says is healthy or biblical. For example, Campolo was examined by the ‘evangelical’ leaders in 1985, they noted that “while he accepts an evolutionary view of the origin of man and the universe, he holds that this is consistent with Scripture that teaches only the fact (not the method) of Creation” (Christian News, 9/23/85)
Tony Campolo is a Change Agent whose vision is to change America’s churches, with radical new ideas that are not based from the Bible or its principles. Some things to know about Campolo associations: Campolo is on Renovaré’s “Board of Reference.” Renovaré is a New Age, ecumenical organization that practices the “meditative” and “contemplative” lifestyle “of early Christianity. There are also many new age influences found in his books. Campolo writes favorably of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and does not let the readers know that Teilhard's Christ is not the Christ of the Bible but the cosmic Christ of New Age spirituality. Campolo writes, “If the Shalom of God and the peaceable kingdom of Isaiah 11 are to become real, then new ways of thinking must be established. With some help from St. Francis and Teilhard de Chardin, we just might make it” (Tony Campolo, How to Rescue the Earth Without Worshiping Nature p. 89, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992).
Campolo's most obvious base for errors is the The “kingdom now” theology he upholds and many charismatic hold to. According to his thinking, Campolo places the Bible promises for a future earthly kingdom right now in this world. Campolo challenges Christians to go into the world and to transform society. While this may come from the result of a changed life, to change the surroundings of where one works it is not the mandate for Christians. “The kingdom of God is party” is the title of one of his books and a theme in many of his messages. Campolo refers to the Old Testament Jewish festivals and wrongly applies them to our time, espousing kingdom now dominionsim.
Campolo writes about the “Noosphere” in his book How to Rescue the Earth. This Noosphere was believed to result in the formation of a global network of thought, a collective consciousness on the planet. John Mabry in Creation Spirituality magazine recently stated it this way: “Chardin”s universe is one of continuous and interwoven evolutionary threads, incorporating plants, animals, the planet, the cosmos, and most peculiar to him, not merely the physical and mental evolution of humankind, but our spiritual ascent as well” (Tony Campolo, How to Rescue the Earth Without Worshiping Nature p. 85, 94 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992).
Campolo in his book Its Friday but Sundays Coming writes the reason Jesus saved us. Some of it is correct some is not: “When Jesus saved us, He saved us for a high and holy purpose. He saved us in order that He might use us to meet the needs of others. He saved us in order that He might begin to transform His world into the kind of world that He willed for it to be when He created it. … When Jesus saved us, He saved us to be agents of a great revolution, the end of which will come when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God”(Tony Campolo, Its Friday but Sundays Coming, p.106)
We can never bring the world back to the way it was made, only Christ at his second coming can do this. We are not change agents in society but ambassadors, priests who bring the gospel to people and reconcile them with God. This may have them change the things they are participating in at work, politics or home because of this spiritual change in their life but our mandate, our commission is the Gospel. (stated in Mt.28:19-20, Mk.16:15; Lk.24:47) Campolo is definitely adhering to a dominionist mandate where the kingdoms of the world are changed and christianized to be in God’s possession
Campolo holds to a Christians responsibility in the environment (I'm not against preservation just radical new age ideas). In “TEAR TIMES” an article called “Why care for creation?” (summer 1992) Campolo wrote “When he created the earth God gave men and women the responsibility for caring for the planet. He created the world good, turned it over to us and commanded us to take care of it until he returned again” God’s instructions are found in Genesis 1 verse 28. You will search in vain to find reference to the work being commanded until God returned again for these instructions were given before the fall and before sin and all its consequences entered into the world.” “God saved us in order that he might rescue all of creation. The earth is groaning and waiting for the sons and daughters of God to be redeemed and filled with the Spirit. Why? So that they can invade the planet and rescue it from the demonic destruction that has played havoc with the atmosphere, the ecology balance, all the things we see around us. Our call is to be God’s agents, to rescue not only the human race but the whole of creation.”
Gen. 1:28 actually says “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
It does not say to care for the earth as environmentalist hold but keep in control the living things that move on the earth.
If one wants to point to the word subdue as justification, it means (Hebrew- kabash);to tread down; to conquer, subjugate, bring into subjection.
In Campolo's book Partly Right the New Age philosophy of pantheism and man is divine is promoted.
“We affirm our divinity by doing what is worthy of gods, and we affirm our humanity by taking risks only available to mortals. God had to become one of us before He could become heroic ... Robert Schuller affirms our divinity, yet does not deny our humanity ... isn't that what the gospel is? Isn’t God’s message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? ... The hymn writer who taught us to sing “Amazing Grace” was all too ready to call himself a “wretch” ... Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity [Freud is responsible for a host of maladies that plague our contemporary society] ... Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity ...”
Is that the message of the gospel? That we are NOT sinful but instead have the divine inside us. That is not the gospel of the Bible but it is of the new age movement.
This is NOT what the gospel is about at all, and quoting Robert Schuller does show Campolo's affiliation to error. Robert Schuller says many things almost all would be considered heresy by a Christian standard, Schuller does not believe Jesus spoke about sin. Campolo actually affirms that we have divine nature in us and that is why God's Son was sacrificed, ignoring that it is the sin that indwells men (Rom.6-7) that He went to the cross for. We have no divine nature but the opposite, a fallen nature, we receive the divine nature after we believe in Christ and the gospel. But to believe correctly one MUST believe they are a sinner - not divine.
The Apostle Paul was apparently wrong when he wrote to the church, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief” (I Timothy 1:15). Nowhere does Paul or any other apostle affirm “our divinity.” This is another gospel under the warning of Paul in Gal.1:6-9.
Matthew Fox, a new age spiritualist said very similar statements. “Divinity is not outside us. We are in God and God in us” (The Cosmic Christ, p.50) “We are all called, like the Cosmic Christ, to radiate the divine presence to/with/from one another” (ibid. p.137) “Christ in the universe and the Cosmic Christ in other religions. Yet the Divine One is present in them all...” (ibid. p.229)
In the New Age deception Christ mystically indwells every human being, the idea that Christ lives in all human beings, whether or not they are Christians. Campolo agrees with this position and clearly has been influenced by it. “We want to convince the whole human race that there is a God who established the infinite value of every person, who mystically dwells in each person....” (Tony Campolo, A Reasonable Faith responding to secularism, p.59)
“What I am trying to say is that Jesus who incarnated God 2,000 years ago is mystically present and waiting to be discovered in EVERY person you and I encounter” (A Reasonable Faith p. 171)
“I do not mean that others represent Jesus for us. I mean that Jesus actually is present in each other person” (Anthony Campolo, A Reasonable Faith responding to secularism p.192)
He does mean what he says as it is stated over and over again. How can this be possible when Jesus himself said one must be reborn spiritually (Jn.3). This is not Christian teaching but borrowed from the new age.
Much like Teilhard de Chardin Campolo says, “That a new humanity will be brought forth from this Christ consciousness in each person (Anthony Campolo, A reasonable Faith -responding to secularism p.65)
Teilhard de Chardin stated “a general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who ... satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (Collins, 1971), p. 130)
Campolo’s message is almost identical to the new age message of the Christ in all.
In 1985, a group of Evangelical Free Church pastors in Illinois convinced Bill Bright to cancel Campolo's appearance at Youth Congress '85, the first major joint rally by Bright's Campus Crusade and Youth for Christ. Specifically, they were upset that Campolo believed Christ was present in every person, Christian or not. ‘I do not mean that others represent Jesus for us,’ he wrote in A Reasonable Faith, a 1983 book aimed at secularists. ‘I mean that Jesus actually is present in each other person.’ They were also upset with two other sentences in the book: ‘Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is saved by Him is aware that He is the one who is doing the saving,’ and ‘Jesus is God because he is fully human.’ (‘By human I mean a full expression of the image of God,’ he later explained.) The pastors accused him of ‘semantic mysticism’ and ‘spiritual adultery,’ while Campolo said he was a victim of ‘a wave of religious McCarthyism.’(Ted Olsen Christianity Today. January 21, 2003, Vol. 47, No. 1, p. 32 The Positive Prophet posted 12/27/2002)
It becomes apparent that some have taken notice of his aberrant teaching, a clear departure from the Christian distinctive on core doctrines. To make his confusing position perfectly clear, in a more recent television interview with Charlie Rose, January 24, 1997, speaking in the context of a Buddhist monk’s claim to know Jesus Christ, Campolo says, “I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus, that’s my evangelical mindset. However, I’m not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians.”
So then how did Jesus get in people who do not believe in him, did he sneak in? Doesn’t Jesus being present in someone make them a Christian; at least according to our Biblical terminology today? What is Campolo saying, that people are saved without the gospel and that there is no advantage to believing in it since Christ is already present in them.
In an address at Prestatyn (UK) in 1988, Campolo again expressed his “Jesus is in everyone” philosophy: “One of the most startling discoveries of my life was the realization that the Jesus that I love, the Jesus who died for me on Calvary, that Jesus, is waiting, mystically and wonderfully, in every person I meet. I find Jesus everywhere. The difference between a Christian and non-Christian is not that Jesus isn't in the non-Christian--the difference is that the Jesus who is within him is a Jesus to whom he will not surrender his life. You say, “Are you saying that Jesus is present in everybody?” I am only telling you what it says in John 1:9; He is the light that lighteth every man, every woman that cometh into the world. The minute you start saying that God isn't in some people, you're on the verge of Fascism. Why? Erich Fromm saw that. The minute you can look at somebody and say God isn't in him--he is only in Christians--that person is pure demon.”
So if you believe that God is not in someone, you are demonic. Campolo twists John 1:9 on its head. John is pointing to Christ being the light, meaning the life every person (referring back to v.4). He neglects the clearer scriptures that teach we are dead in trespasses and sins and need the gospel to be alive spiritually. That we need to be translated from darkness to light by believing in Jesus the Son of God.
Yet Campolo has said “Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is being saved by Him is aware that He is the One who is doing the saving ...” ( reported in the January 1991, CIB Bulletin.)
Campolo spoke at the National Counsel of Churches (a group whose intent is to have interfaith unity) gathering in May of 1988; where his message conveyed, “ He said that Hindu pacifist Ghandi “was more Christian than most Christians.” [How can a man who rejected Christ be more Christian than a Christian?] Campolo also praised Catholic nun Mother Teresa as well as Martin Luther King. (Reported in The Christian World Report, August 1990.)
Dave Hunt observed in the movie, “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming,” Campolo again espouses an extreme pantheistic view by saying that the little Haitian child thrust into his arms as he was about to board a plane for the States was Jesus, “... and Jesus is in everyone; not a metaphysical Jesus, but the real historic one!” (“inconsistent entertainment at best”--Dave Hunt, 7/88).(also found in his book It's Friday, But Sunday’s Coming, in the chapter Jesus meets our Need for a Purpose in Life).
Though Campolo denies he is a universalist he does say You can be saved by Jesus without believing in Him; even many who have rejected the Jesus of Evangelical preaching: “Many people have experienced the humanizing influence of Jesus through “I-Thou” encounters without being aware that they are experiencing Jesus. Their “I Thou” encounters revealed a presence that was totally other than the cultural deity they had come to know by that name . . . He is so different from the God of the theologians and philosophers” (A Reasonable Faith: Responding to Secularism, Anthony Campolo, p. 175).
Campolo does make some very obscure statements like his teaching at Promise Keepers stated “Satan believes,” said Tony. “He is biblically sound. He knows all about Jesus and the power of the cross. But Satan won’t let God invade and penetrate his being and purify him. You need to be cleansed, energized by the Holy Spirit to connect with your wife and kids” (Nov.27 2001 http://www.christianweek.org/)
Is Satan biblically sound? Does he have a choice to let God in even if he wanted to? This kind of thinking is far beyond the scope of theologically sound doctrine. This opens up the possibility that someone can say one day that Satan has done this and is reconciled?
Tony Campolo says he could envision a scenario where God--tired of the mess human beings created in this world---would send beings from another planet to help people learn to love one another (in the Calvary Contender, 1/1/98).
One can only wonder how Campolo arrives at these conclusions since there is no way one can from the correct interpreting of the Scripture. It may be because Campolo is involved in non biblical practices that has gained an influence to shape his world view. Campolo also gives us insight into his contemplative prayer method in a recent issue of Outreach magazine “I get up in the morning a half hour before I have to and spend time in absolute stillness. I don't ask God for anything. I just simply surrender to His presence and yield to the Spirit flowing into my life. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.” The next verse says, “Keep silent before me.”
An interviewer once asked Mother Teresa, “When you pray, what do you say to God?” She said, “I don’t say anything. I just listen.” So the interviewer asked, “What does God say to you?” She replied, “God doesn't say anything. He listens.” Campolo says That's the kind of prayer I do in the morning. I empty myself and allow the Spirit to speak to me as Romans 8 says, “with groanings that cannot be uttered” (Outreach Magazine, p.88-89 July/ August 2004).
This sounds more like mysticism to me (an influence from Renovaré?). To surrender is a daily thing throughout the day not just in the morning to his presence. While it may be good to start the day devoting it to the Lord, Scripture does not say to be still in this manner. The New Testament tells us to be filled (controlled only by the Holy Spirit). Even Christian meditation is filling ones mind not the eastern way of emptying it or letting everything just be, as in Zen. Isaiah 40:31 is about the numerous people (pagan nations) being quiet as God enters into a decision (the context bears this out) it is not about our personal quiet time. The comments by Mother Theresa are beyond absurd, this is not prayer, it’s doing nothing. Mother Theresa was a universalist like Robert Schuller, not a good source to be quoting from. Also Rom. 8:26: “The Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8 is not about God’s spirit speaking to man, it is about taking what we are unable to express to speak to God. Campolo couldn’t get that right either.
Campolo taught at the HIM (Hawaiian Island Ministries) conference (2004 in Hawaii) that he does not judge Islam by crazy evil fanatics, that there is tendency of our taking the worst of our opponent. That in the Koran, Mohammad never taught we should do terrorist acts. Islam does not call to violently destroy your enemies (Really? Did Campolo actually read the Koran to discover this?) That part of the teachings of Jesus are in the Koran. (ed. Note: I wonder what part that would be--to love your enemies? Jesus' name is mentioned and only a few things are like the Bible, such as his virgin birth)
He then launched into Catholicism trying to correlate the most holy site of Islam, the Kaaba with the Roman sacrifice in the temple, that Catholicism is centered around the ritual, and rituals create faith (ed. Note: not the Faith according to the Scripture, this is not a good thing) and ended with the goal of changing everyone's mind on Islam. It was a perfect presentation of the dialectic (diaprax) where he made the argument, loyalty creates solidarity, which creates unity- there is nothing more powerful in religion. So a religion that has prayers 5 times a day creates solidarity among them (ie. Islam) like Catholicism’s rituals. Neither has any biblical basis of practice.
Not surprising that Campolo has participated with the American Muslim Council on some level, also in his book How to Rescue the Earth he promotes a new spirituality that embraces the “sacramental” character of nature.
The growing mystical movement in the church is making great inroads because of some very visible speakers that promote it. For example, Tony Campolo in his book Speaking My Mind states: “[M]ysticism [contemplative prayer] provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam” (p.149) (reported in lighthousetrails newsletter). Is this his answer for peaceful coexistence? Are we to be looking for common ground or how to reach this religion by evangelizing? And of all places, mysticism, which the Bible tells us to stay away from.
Is this a man we want to listen to, that would protect the sheep from other religious systems? Hardly.
Recently the Good As New Bible will hit the bookstores on July 1st 2004. John Henson is a retired Baptist minister has been the translation coordinator on behalf of ONE. ONE is a network of radical Christian groups in the UK. Rowan Williams, the new Archbishop of Canterbury said Good As New is the most radical re-telling of the Christian scriptures since the New Testament was put together, praised by liberals and evangelicals alike. Williams is pro-homosexual (see article)
In this New translation we find St. Peter becomes “Rocky,” Mary Magdalene
becomes “Maggie,” Aaron becomes “Ron,” Andronicus becomes “Andy” and
Barabbas becomes “Barry.” In keeping with the times, translator Henson
deftly translates “demon possession” as “mental illness” and “Son of
Man,” the expression Jesus frequently used to describe himself, as “the
This Bible is 456 pages of artificial sweetener that can be poison if ingested. Here are some examples
1 Corinthians 7:1-2
Good As New 7:1 “I now turn to the questions you raised in your letters to me. Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. I think that is more likely to lead to sexual offences. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner.”
1 Corinthians 7:8-7
KJV: “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”
New: “If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated.”
We have the apostle Paul who commanded us to be clean both spiritually and bodily as our body is the temple now advising Christians not to go without sex for too long in case they get frustrated, find a partner.
That’s advice all right, not Godly advice, but worldly. Among those that endorse it are: Tony Campolo who stated “ It spoke to me with a powerful relevancy that challenged me to re-think all the things that I have been taught. (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Eastern University Tony Campolo.
In response to an article in World Magazine that wrote on two Inclusive Bible translations Good As New and Inclusive bible (“Worldly Word,” Oct. 15, Friendliest book in the world.)
Tony Campolo sets his record straight on Bibles and endorsements by Gene Edward Veith http://www.worldmag.com/subscriber/displayarticle.cfm?id=11258
Mr. Campolo's son countered that this “is nothing like a wholesale endorsement. To say that a book is powerfully relevant or that is has challenged you to rethink what you have been taught about the Bible is hardly an unqualified confirmation of its content.”
This is what Campolo wrote to world magazine to correct this: “I reviewed the Good As New translation because its author, John Henson, is a dear friend. I praised it as powerfully relevant because it is so clearly designed to appeal to those most vulnerable people who Jesus loved but who His Church lately tends to reject. I praised it as intellectually provocative because it challenged me to reconsider how the Biblical canon was put together in the first place. Nevertheless, as an evangelical Christian leader, I could not and cannot endorse Good As New. While I have always encouraged the use of inclusive language wherever it is appropriate, I believe John's translation goes too far, and while I am not afraid to consider other points of view, I remain confident in the traditional canon. By virtue of the surpassing grace it reveals, our traditional Bible needs no radical revision to be the friendliest book in the world for every single one of us.”
Consider the statement- powerfully relevant- intellectually provocative because it challenged me to reconsider how the Biblical canon was put together in the first place. (let’s put aside the inference of the church rejecting a certain group of people for the moment)
So why did he nor tell this to the publisher back then what he meant. It
may not be a wholesale endorsement but it is an unqualified
endorsement. My question is: If he doesn’t endorse it then why did he
allow this, and why did he wait to put out an official statement on it. If
this makes him rethink what he has been taught- WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? That it
had an effect on him.
In his book 20 Hot Potatoes, Campolo claims that homosexual behavior is contrary to the will of God (p. 115), but that homosexual orientation is not a matter of choice, but is inborn (pp. 112-113). Then wouldn't that make God the author of people being homosexual.
This is what the Homosexual activist will tell you, its all inborn. There is no scientific proof for this. Yet Campolo also claims that though he personally thinks that homosexual behavior is contrary to the will of God (p. 115). Campolo ignores the issue by skirting around it writing, “Actually, Jesus never alludes to homosexuality in his teachings. The fact that homosexuality has become such an overriding concern for many contemporary preachers may be more a reflection of homophobia in the church than it is the result of the emphasis of Scripture.” (Tony Campolo, 20 Hot Potatoes Christians are Afraid to Touch (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1988),p.84).
Paul does mention this specifically, is that not acceptable? Jesus includes all sexual immorality outside of marriage as sin.
Campolo believes, “homosexual covenants” are an option for “evangelicals” to live by. Campolo claims that homosexual orientation is inborn in many or most cases, and refers to “evangelical homosexuality.” He has related how two homosexual men “solved their problems of loneliness” by living in a celibate “covenant” relationship “in all love and tenderness.” He even makes the blasphemous claim that Christians will have difficulty finding any Biblical condemnation of romantic feelings between persons of the same sex (cf. Rom. 1:18ff)!! (Reported in the 4/1/91 Calvary Contender, and in a 2/7/94 ACCC report on the 1994 NRB Convention.)
Tony Campolo, and especially his wife Peggy are activists in homosexual causes. (interview with Peggy Campolo in the 3/94 issue of The Lofton Letter; in the Summer of 1993, Peggy Campolo reduced her involvement in her husband's office in order to be more active in the cause of “social justice” for lesbians and homosexual men.) [Peggy Campolo has also said: “We both believe that homosexual orientations are not chosen any more than heterosexual orientations are chosen. ... homosexuals are entitled to the same rights and privileges I claim for myself, including being able to marry legally and in the sight of the church ...”
In his book, Carpe Diem: Seize the Day (Word: 1994), he explains how he has discovered God’s feminine nature! (Chapter titled “Embracing the Feminine Side of God”): “There is a feminine side of God. I always knew this ... It is this feminine side of God I find in Jesus that makes me want to sing duets with Him ... Not only do I love the feminine is Jesus, but the more I know Jesus, the more I realize that Jesus loves the feminine in me. Until I accept the feminine in my humanness, there will be a part of me that cannot receive the Lord's love. ... There is that feminine side of me that must be recovered and strengthened if I am to be like Christ ... And until I feel the feminine in Jesus, there is a part of Him which I cannot identify.” (pp. 85-88).
Unfortunately the Bible never says that man nor Jesus has a feminine side, this is from psychology.Yet he is emphatic, those of you who did not accept the feminine in your humanity may not have received the Lords love. At least Campolo can say he didn’t until then.
Recently (2004) a Christian group is asked an Assemblies of God Bible college in Pennsylvania to drop a frequent guest chapel speaker because of his heretical beliefs.The school's president Don Meyer is defending his decision to invite a man who holds to universalist theology and an unbiblical view of homosexuality.
“Campolo, a well-known media commentator on religious, social and political matters, often preaches with his wife in homosexual-affirming churches, where he has stated that the homosexual “did not choose homosexuality,” but is rather “a victim either of biological accident or someone else's folly.”
Michael Marcavage, director of the Philadelphia-based group Repent America, says Valley Forge Christian College is ignoring the scriptural command to mark and avoid false teachers.
“Through the years, obviously, Tony Campolo has promoted many unbiblical doctrines,” Marcavage says. “This goes back to his book A Reasonable Faith in which he developed the false concept that Christ lives in all human beings regardless whether they are Christian.”
Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) president Meyer says he has never read the book, but believes Campolo's views are often taken out of context or misunderstood. Marcavage says Meyer is ignoring a false teacher who has claimed he is changing the evangelical community from within by targeting young people. “He has spoken out against Christian ministries, such as Exodus International, which help homosexuals overcome their struggle with their sinful desires and practices,” the Repent America leader explains. “He declares that there's a biological basis for homosexuality -- and he has stated that we cannot expect such a person to change his orientation.”... http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/9/212004a.asp
In an interview published byBeliefnet Campolo states that “the overwhelming proportion of the gay community that love Jesus, that go to church, that are deeply committed in spiritual things, try to change and can’t change. And the Church acts as though they are just stubborn and unwilling, when in reality they can’t change.” But he also states his position that “same-gender eroticism [homosexual activity] is not a Christian lifestyle.”
Last year more than a dozen representatives from Marcavage's group gathered outside VFCC to call attention to Campolo's teachings and to call school officials to repentance. The Repent America leader says they will do the same this year. “Perhaps faculty members and students will now recognize the danger of allowing their pulpit to be used by someone who disregards the authority of scripture,” Marcavage says.
Campolo is aware his apologetics can be considered aberrant . In an appendix called “Warning from Mission Impossible: This Message Will Self-Destruction;” he presents a case of his beliefs are counted among others who brought reform: In some respects my theology, like any theology, is heresy, if by heresy we mean a presentation of God’s message that is incomplete, inadequate, and potentially dangerous. However, what can be said about what I have done can also be said, perhaps to a much lesser degree, about what was done in other stages of social-historical development by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Wesley (pp. 190-191).
This explanation does not put to rest any questions or radical statements that were made. To say we may be missing the good being done because we consider it heresy is not even a tenable position to hold. I think Campolo's comparison of himself to other reformers is hardly relative since even they would have great disagreement with his positions, especially on Christ being in all people. What can be said about Campolo is that he does speaks his mind, but as a representative of the Bible what he says does is not always relevant to the Bibles position. He will not disappoint you if you are looking to be shocked with new theology not heard before.
Campolo is well aware of going against the grain with his statements and knows some will react. Of his book A Reasonable Faith he writes: “There are some warnings that I wish to issue to anyone reading this book. The first is to be aware that the theology expressed in this short volume represents a personal attempt to state my Christian faith in a way that might prove meaningful for my secularist friends. I am sensitive to the fact that any attempt to state the Gospel in the dominant categories of a culture inevitably leads to a distortion of the Gospel. Consequently, anyone who accuses me of violating the biblical message is correct” (p. 190).
One does not need to refute Campolo when he does such a good job of it himself.
Campolo has said, “If I am found to be in error, I’m ready either to recant or to say that I don’t belong in the evangelical tradition anymore.”
Well we are waiting.